Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Journeys are always so important in writing

As long as I can remember, I ‘ve wanted to be a writer but it's only sometime in the last year, between turning 40 and 41 that I realised, I am a writer.

I need to write, I have to write, I want to write. Stories just pervade every day, and toying with how best to tell them is constant. I don’t ever stop thinking about stories.

Over the years I’ve had peaks and troughs of focused attention on writing. Distractions such as crippling debts, personal crisis and confidence disasters, have taken me to the troughs. But the peaks have been; the year after graduating when I spent a year writing short stories and researching my first novel; the two adaptations I wrote for Fallen Angel Theatre Co – Odyssey and Lady Chatterley’s Lover; the completion of a draft of a first novel; the MA in Creative Writing at Liverpool John Moores; the near-miss on a writers bursary after submitting the start of my second novel and the “didn’t quite make it into the mix for the final selection” for the New Writers Evening Plays submissions.

A major turning point in my writing came during the MA when I had an epiphany -though I believed I wanted to be a novelist and had always focused on prose writing, I was in fact a scriptwriter. It came as a bit of a shock especially as I’d written two scripts for performance without really acknowledging them. I had written them then returned to my overriding desire to walk into a book shop to see my novel on a shelf.

The weirdest thing about the latest epiphany about being a writer is I’d always said that if I hadn’t made some kind of breakthrough by the time I was 40 I was giving up writing. But then I hit 40 and realised that I had made breakthroughs, I had become a better writer. Not only had I become a better writer but I had gained a much better understanding of the industry of writing, for film, television, radio or theatre.

With this new outlook I knew that I had to get a few things sorted that I’d not really done before, firstly I needed to get some spec scripts completed and secondly I needed to recognise my being a writer with an on-line identity. The spec scripts are in hand but the on-line identity was harder to create largely because I find it hard to justify being on a computer for any other reason than writing. But a story has been developing for a while about a woman who has several conflicting on-line identities who starts to get confused about who she is and seeks the help of an on-line stalker to clarify, who is she really? So here I am, in the guise of research but also to help me clarify thoughts about my writing and most definitely as a writer on a journey to find an agent,(because journeys are always so important in writing).

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